Helpful ReplyLooking For Advice On A New Computer (Solved)

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groverken
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2016/06/20 07:32:39 (permalink)

Looking For Advice On A New Computer (Solved)

I've been looking for some time at upgrading my creaking desktop for something more in keeping with SPLAT. Everyone here holds Jim Roseberry at Studiocat in high esteem and I took his advice earlier in the year regarding the Gigabyte Brix system. However, living in the UK makes it difficult to purchase one of his systems. The question therefore is - has anyone out there in the UK found a good, reliable team who assembles DAW systems? I discovered Robin Vincent recently at Molten Music Technology and he looks like a good bet. Any advice would be helpful.
post edited by groverken - 2016/08/03 03:17:36

 Windows 10 (64-bit), Cakewalk by BandLab, ASUS Z170-A, Intel  i7 6700k, ATI Radeon R5 230 2048Mb, 32GB RAM, 500GB SDD system drive, 2 250GB SSD samples drives, 2TB HDD, Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 (2nd generation), M-Audio Oxygen25, Korg i5M, Rapture Pro, Z3TA+2, SampleTank 3, BFD (2&3), Addictive Drums (1&2), EZdrummer2, MusicLab Real Guitar, EZmix2, Ozone 7 Elements, Neutron Elements, Overloud TH2, AmpliTube, T-RackS, Waves singles, Harrison Mixbus 4, Acoustica 7 Premium.
Fender Stratocaster.
#1
patm300e
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Re: Looking For Advice On A New Computer 2016/06/20 08:06:34 (permalink)
groverken
Everyone here holds Jim Roseberry at Studiocat in high esteem... However, living in the UK makes it difficult to purchase one of his systems.



Jim still may be able to consult for you and have someone across the pond (or you?) do that actual build...

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Mesh
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Re: Looking For Advice On A New Computer 2016/06/20 09:10:40 (permalink) ☄ Helpfulby groverken 2016/06/25 04:52:46
Take a look at this older thread on UK DAW builders......you can always PM one of these guys on their experience with the builder.
 
http://forum.cakewalk.com/Have-any-of-my-UK-based-DAW-users-had-any-experience-of-this-company-m3282848.aspx
 
On s side note and if you're inclined to do so, building your own is quite easy, economical, and you can handpick ALL the components you want in your DAW........it's quite gratifying as well.   

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#3
Starise
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Re: Looking For Advice On A New Computer 2016/06/23 10:26:29 (permalink)
Well I wrote a how to article on building a PC that got buried somewhere here....but I digress. I'm guessing that you don't want to build it yourself.
 
Usually the major differences between a DAW PC and a standard PC have more to do with a silent build for recording, (simply make sure you buy more quiet fans and cases)  I/O ( inpouts and outputs) and lastly, slightly upgraded hardware. I/O depends on your audio interface. Some people call it a sound card but this term is archaic because seldom do we see interfaces internal anymore. 
 
Most DAW prosumer hardware I/O now is some flavor of usb. All computers have usb. Most interfaces are usb. Problem solved.
 
The rest of the differences are in hardware capacity,quality and maybe a small software tweak here and there.
 
A standard desktop may have only 8gb of memory, one hard drive which is smaller and probably termed "power saving" and a slower cpu. A dedicated DAW PC will have at least 16gb of memory and usually several hard drives that aren't power saving because power saving looses performance.The cpu will usually be a grade or two above what's in an office PC. The basic components will usually be better because the builder has his butt on the line if it fails. 
 
My point to all of this is- Any builder can build your PC. Tell him or her you want a quiet rated case and fans. Mid grade or better gamer PC hardware. A good mid level cpu. 16/64 gb of memory. Latest generation hardware. There's no voodoo involved in a DAW. 
 
You could try the setup with no software tweaks and see what happens. Sonar doesn't demand tweaks to run. Most interfaces have accompanying software that optimizes audio latency buffer settings for you. Other OS related adjustments can help to optimize performance. In most cases it isn't like night and day, but it helps.
 
So any good builder in the UK worth his or her salt is capable to do it if you don't want to do it yourself.JMHO

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#4
Jim Roseberry
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Re: Looking For Advice On A New Computer 2016/06/23 11:15:39 (permalink)
Starise
So any good builder in the UK worth his or her salt is capable to do it if you don't want to do it yourself.JMHO



Anyone can bolt parts together.
The devil is in *all* the details.
Building a great DAW is similar to a mechanic building a great race car.
Fast yes... you don't want a "Sprint Car" to run an endurance race.
 
A local custom computer shop has no idea about the specifics of building a DAW.
I know... I bought my first PC from the local custom computer shop.  
They couldn't even install my two Turtle Beach Tahiti cards. 
I had to figure it out... and (ironically) that launched my career.
 
Simply choosing "gaming components" is not going to produce the best possible DAW configuration.
Certain parameters in the BIOS result in low/consistent DPC latency.
Some motherboards expose those parameters... others don't.
If you don't have access to them... there's no tweaking them.
 
Gaming is all about high frame-rates (for video performance).
As DAW users, we're not pushing video hard... this is not a priority for our work.
That high video performance may come at the expense of high DPC Latency.
To achieve high gaming benchmarks, some drivers may monopolize CPU time (high DPC Latency).
 
Building DAWs is no different than any other trade/craft.
  • Anyone can construct a patio deck
  • Anyone can work on a car
  • Anyone can lay carpeting
  • Anyone can paint a house
  • Anyone can landscape their yard
Anyone can do the above (there's no voodoo involved)... but the person who does it all day/every day is a professional.  
There's a level of experience/knowledge that a novice doesn't have.
Anyone can bolt together a computer.
A professional builds a top-performing DAW from top to bottom (no guessing, no gamble).
The tech assembling machines at "Crazy Kenny's Custom Computer Warehouse" is not that professional.  
 
 

Best Regards,

Jim Roseberry
jim@studiocat.com
www.studiocat.com
#5
Starise
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Re: Looking For Advice On A New Computer 2016/06/23 15:07:43 (permalink)
I guess we'll need to agree to disagree on a few points Jim. I'm certainly not out to minimize the importance of knowing the ins and outs of DAW building. I'm sure there are things you know that will make a computer a great DAW. 
 
In speaking from my own experiences in electronics in general and also computers. I haven't ever had any problems in building my own DAW and I don't do it as a full time profession. Maybe my own experiences don't reflect those of others. Sonar has a minimum system requirement and depending on what kind of projects you mix many basic computers will handle it. I'm thinking of a 1+1 thing with a guitarist and a few vocals etc. 
 
I made a few assumptions about " Crazy Kenny's Computer Warehouse". Hopefully Crazy Kenny has built quite a few computers and knows what he's doing. This is my first assumption. That a person in the Uk visits a reputable known good builder. My second assumption is that if he can build a good stable gaming rig, then he can certainly build a good DAW. There really isn't a huge difference. Both systems are designed to maximum performance. If the computer is fast on graphics intensive programs, then it is likely  also capable to be a decent DAW, though maybe not maximized for audio until it gets an adjustment or two. But even as it is, capable to record at least 24 tracks and tons of vsts.
 
I would disagree that "anyone" can put those computer parts together. There are some who simply can't or shouldn't try assembly. Not really difficult either, but a person needs to have the aptitude. We have been using all kinds of tools since we could walk almost so an easy thing for us is a difficult thing for someone else.
 
I think that if a person thinks they want to try it, simply look at the computer sig of anyone here who builds computers, buy those parts and start. Sometimes the toughest thing to do is start. After that the rest gets easier.

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#6
kennywtelejazz
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Re: Looking For Advice On A New Computer 2016/06/23 15:19:11 (permalink) ☄ Helpfulby Mesh 2016/06/23 16:42:29
Jim Roseberry
 
The tech assembling machines at "Crazy Kenny's Custom Computer Warehouse" is not that professional.  
 
 



 
If you happen to think that's nonprofessional  , you should see their guitar department 
 
Kenny

                   
Oh Yeah , Life is Good .
The internet is nothing more than a glorified real time cartoon we all star in.
I play a "Gibson " R 8 Les Paul Cherry Sunburst .
The Love of my Life is an American Bulldog Named Duke . I'm currently running Cakewalk By BandLab as my DAW .
 
https://soundcloud.com/guitarist-kenny-wilson
 
https://www.youtube.com/user/Kennywtelejazz/videos?view=0&sort=dd&shelf_id=1
 
http://www.soundclick.com/bands/pagemusic.cfm?bandID=427899



#7
Starise
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Re: Looking For Advice On A New Computer 2016/06/24 07:56:34 (permalink)
Disclaimer- This is in no way representative of the entity we know here as "Kenny"  He's a pretty cool dude who looks good on a guitar and plays it well. 

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#8
Jim Roseberry
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Re: Looking For Advice On A New Computer 2016/06/24 10:26:47 (permalink)
LOL!  
 
The ironic part...
That's the actual name of the company.
Truth is sometimes stranger than fiction...

Best Regards,

Jim Roseberry
jim@studiocat.com
www.studiocat.com
#9
groverken
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Re: Looking For Advice On A New Computer 2016/06/25 04:28:27 (permalink)
Thanks to everyone who commented.
I've been looking here on the forum and trying to get advice for ages and only seem to be getting more confused by the day.
Since I had my last DAW built, things have changed a lot. I've been advised by some that a dedicated video card is definitely not required while others say that something like the ATI Radeon R7 240 would be preferred. The  ASUS Z170-A motherboard seems to be being well received but how do you make comparisons with limited knowledge? And as for processors, is it a 6700 or 6700k and do you need a "k"?
When it comes to "build it yourself", anyone who has seen my attempts at other types of self assembly would realise that it's a real non-starter.
I see from another thread that Wookiee had a system built recently by Inta Audio so I'm going to investigate them a bit further.
Maybe I'll have something sorted out before the next generation of processors arrive and confuse me even further!

 Windows 10 (64-bit), Cakewalk by BandLab, ASUS Z170-A, Intel  i7 6700k, ATI Radeon R5 230 2048Mb, 32GB RAM, 500GB SDD system drive, 2 250GB SSD samples drives, 2TB HDD, Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 (2nd generation), M-Audio Oxygen25, Korg i5M, Rapture Pro, Z3TA+2, SampleTank 3, BFD (2&3), Addictive Drums (1&2), EZdrummer2, MusicLab Real Guitar, EZmix2, Ozone 7 Elements, Neutron Elements, Overloud TH2, AmpliTube, T-RackS, Waves singles, Harrison Mixbus 4, Acoustica 7 Premium.
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#10
tomixornot
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Re: Looking For Advice On A New Computer 2016/06/25 07:23:21 (permalink)
Hi,
 
Regarding to install video card or not, depends on a few issues. Basically for DAW only use, if the motherboard / chipset supports built in graphic, video card is not required.
 
Z170 platform supports build in graphic, so there is not need to get a video card.
 
https://www.asus.com/us/Motherboards/Z170-A/specifications/               (check the graphic section)
 
For example, my older board, an Intel DP67BG does not have built in graphic :
 
http://ark.intel.com/products/50244/Intel-Desktop-Board-DP67BG
 
And for my system above, I get the lowest spec fan less graphic card, just to enable display. It also depends if you want to drive more than one display. Z170 by default supports up to 3 full HD monitors, so it should be enough by itself.
 
Regarding 6700 vs 6700K, K series CPUs are meant for overclocking. If you don't intend to overclock, 6700 will do and it's cheaper. For me, I prefer the K series even though I do not overclock .. having the thought of one day I might just need to over clock it a bit when future OS / Sonar need more power..  (but very unlikely I'll overclock the CPU full time, but I do have the option to experiment).
 

Albert


i7 2600K @ 3.40GHz / MB Intel DP67BG / 16GB Ram
- ADATA 250GB SSD (Boot)
- Samsung Spinpoint F1 1TB HDD (Samples)
Audio interface : Motu 828 MK ii
 
i7 6700K @ 4.00GHz / MB Asrock Z170 / 16GB Ram
- Samsung EVO 850 120GB / 500 GB SSD

Audio interface : Roland Quad Capture
 
Win 10 Pro / Sonar Platinum
#11
groverken
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Re: Looking For Advice On A New Computer 2016/08/03 03:01:14 (permalink)
Thanks to everyone who commented here and a huge thanks to Wookiee for his advice. As you can see from my signature I took the plunge at last and all is going well - even after the new Windows 10 update.

 Windows 10 (64-bit), Cakewalk by BandLab, ASUS Z170-A, Intel  i7 6700k, ATI Radeon R5 230 2048Mb, 32GB RAM, 500GB SDD system drive, 2 250GB SSD samples drives, 2TB HDD, Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 (2nd generation), M-Audio Oxygen25, Korg i5M, Rapture Pro, Z3TA+2, SampleTank 3, BFD (2&3), Addictive Drums (1&2), EZdrummer2, MusicLab Real Guitar, EZmix2, Ozone 7 Elements, Neutron Elements, Overloud TH2, AmpliTube, T-RackS, Waves singles, Harrison Mixbus 4, Acoustica 7 Premium.
Fender Stratocaster.
#12
Mesh
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Re: Looking For Advice On A New Computer 2016/08/03 08:53:26 (permalink)
groverken
Thanks to everyone who commented here and a huge thanks to Wookiee for his advice. As you can see from my signature I took the plunge at last and all is going well - even after the new Windows 10 update.


 
Congrats Groverken!! Looks to be a very nice system.

Next stop fro you is The Song's Forum to post a song! 

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#13
DrLumen
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Re: Looking For Advice On A New Computer 2016/08/03 12:47:23 (permalink)
I must say that the whir and hum of 5 case fans, 2 video card fans, the cpu fan and 2 external cabinet fans have a hypnotic and lulling affect giving a sense of well being and unity with my environment. :)
 
For some reason, recording in the same room doesn't impart the same harmony. Go figure...

-When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro.

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